Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Pardon My French

All scripture references, unless otherwise noted, are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible.
Have you ever heard that expression? It is often heard just after someone has used an expletive, otherwise known as cursing or using a vulgarity. I used to speak that kind of french quite fluently, how about you?   I was used to hearing bad language in the Army. I remember in the Army people talking about others who had a garbage mouth. I certainly fit the bill. And I hated having learned all the bad words that I learned. Not that I had a clean mouth before I joined the Army, I didn't. But swearing, using profanity and vulgarity, became such a part of my speech patterns that I would slip up in front of my mother or the mother of my buddy.

I was in that condition in 1965. I was used to taking the name of Jesus in vain, of cursing the circumstances I would find myself in, etc. As I said previously, I hated my inability to control my speech. I even tried to stop using bad language. I determined that I would clean up my speech patterns but I couldn't even stop thinking bad words, so I gave it up as useless. After I got out of the Army in 1962 I variously lived at my parent's home, in an apartment in Puyallup, Washington or in the environs of Seattle. I also lived in Los Angeles, California for a year or so. All the while I was using the bad language that had become so much a part of my life.   The Bible says in Ephesians 4:29, "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers." I didn't know what the Bible said about bad language then as I had never read the Bible.

In the Spring of 1965 I had returned to my parent's home and was carrying on my loser lifestyle. I was utterly lost and undone and headed for who knows what. A college professor named Timothy Leary was going around to various college campuses preaching the LSD mantra of, Tune in, Turn on and Drop out. That was probably my next destination in my death spiral. I had been out with a buddy on Sunday with a half case of beer watching motorcycle races . The next morning after I got up with a bit of a hangover, I had breakfast and was reading the Reader's Digest, drinking a cup of coffee and smoking a cigarette. I wasn't interested in the subject of the paranormal but I read an article about a woman by the name of Jeanne Dixon who professed herself to be a prophetess. As I finished the article I became aware of the Lord Jesus standing in the room. He called me by name and said that what I was reading was somewhat the way it would be but, "she is not of Me." The Lord then told me that the life I was living was leading me to death and that I had a choice to make. Then in tones of the most unutterable love, the Lord Jesus said, "make Me your choice. I am the only reasonable choice you have." 

You might ask me how I knew it was the Lord Jesus? I can't tell you except in John 10:27 the Bible says, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me..." I knew that I could not serve the Lord by myself. I had tried and failed too many times to change my ways. So I replied aloud, "Lord Jesus, if you will help me I will serve you from this day to the day I die." Immediately the Lord washed my heart clean. Clean of all the profanity and vulgarity that had so possessed my speech. He took out of my heart the desire for the world and replaced it with a desire for Him and to please Him. Simultaneously the Lord Jesus said, "read My word and start in Matthew." I went into the living room and in awe told my mother and stepfather that the Lord had just called me to serve Him. I then went to my bedroom, got my Bible (which I had never read), found Matthew and began to read. I read the entire New Testament that week. I have rarely ever stopped reading the Bible from that day to this. I can truly say "Hitherto hath the LORD helped" me. (See 1st Samuel 17:12)

My friend, if you have always wanted but never been able to live for the Lord Jesus, let me encourage you to read His word and put your trust and hope in Him alone. (See Jeremiah 17:7)  In Isaiah 55:6-9 the Bible says, "Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." If you have come to the end of your rope and in sincerity of heart will ask the Lord to help you, the Lord Jesus will help you for He loves you with a love that defies description. I promise you that you will never be sorry!

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